Friday, January 3, 2014

The New Year's Eve scare...

I've made an executive decision and realized that this blog shouldn't be just about Finn.  Well, (hopefully) less than a month, it would have about a Fish & a Finn.  But I've decided that this space needs to be more about our family as well.  I've really tried to keep our privacy as best as possible by not using E's first name (and I'm not sure if I've used my first name either) and with Fish's arrival, the blog name is going to change to ensure a little more of Finn's privacy.

But I also want this blog to be about more than the kids -- with more stories on E & me and the pets.  So in that vein...

Our oldest pup (Bishop) gave me quite the scare on New Year's Eve.  There was about 15 minutes where I honestly thought she was going to die.  But before going any further, she didn't die and she made a slow, steady & complete recovery.

Let's catch you up to speed...  Bishop is our oldest pup -- she turned 11 last September and has lost a good chunk of her hearing.  She is the momma to our other pup (Munk).  Bishop has struggled with her weight most of her life (due to us fixing her pretty shortly after her giving birth to the puppies).  In the past month or so, we have been seeing more labored breathing & panting in Bishop.  But we had also noticed that in our previous dog, Kelly as she was getting older.  So I didn't think anything of it, simply adjusting the amount of time that I anticipate her to do things (such as climb stairs and get off the couch).

Well, about 3-4 weeks ago, I had to call E in a panic because Bishop's breathing sounded so labored that I thought she has an airway obstruction and that she was choking.  I was 8 months pregnant at the time and the poor girl tops of the scales over 85 pounds, plus she has numerous lumps and bumps from her old age and I didn't want to do more injury to her.  I was hysterical, not knowing what to do.  By the time that E was able to get home, she was breathing normally again (with no labored breathing whatsoever) and resting quite comfortably.  I felt silly having E fly home from work early to find her back to her normal self.

So Tuesday evening, I come home with Finn and am in the bathroom when Bishop comes past panting especially heavy.  She walked into the living room, panting and doing circles.  I called Munk to the door and loudly clap for Bishop (as that's the only way that she can hear you to come outside).  Then I noticed that she is walking in large circles and she was peeing at the same time!  I clap again, thinking that her bladder was just too full and that we need to hurry her outside.  As she is quickly walking towards me through the dining room, her back paws started to curl up underneath her and she started slipping and sliding on our hardwood floors.  She was desperately trying to make it to the side door rug as she couldn't stand up at all on the hardwood of the dining room and then tile of the kitchen.  She collapsed onto her tummy literally inches from the rug and refused to get up.

Her breathing was so labored that I thought she was going to give one final breath and just stop breathing.  Poor Finn saw Bishop struggling and was screaming "Bishop! Bishop! Bishop!" because she knew something was wrong.  I'm not sure what kicked in -- but the emotional mess that I usually am disappeared and I became super calm and strong.  I set Finn up with her lamb and the iPad to watch the Mickey Mouse clubhouse on the other side of the table, so she couldn't see anything.  And I sat with Bishop.  I rubbed her ears, stroked her side and just told her that it was going to be okay, not wanting her final moments to be stressful caused by my hysterics.  She was foaming at the mouth and moving her head from side to side, her back legs were splayed out underneath her like a frog.  After about 15 minutes of my gentle soothings, she was breathing normally again, tail wagging when I would return my hand back to it's place on her back ro side after occasionally have to lift it to move something else out of the way) but refusing to get up.  Now this time, I'm 9 months pregnant and there is no way that I'm lifting this girl onto her feet.  E was on his way home (as I had called him earlier, surprising myself at how calm I was in telling him of the situation) and Bishop remained in the same spot until E came home.

After E arrived and he got her to roll onto her side, I started trying to piece together what happened, replaying the events to E.  It was then that I realized that she had had a seizure.  She had had two while we lived in Jersey and I had written them down at the advice of our vet.  I pulled out the information and one of them sounded quite similar to what I had just experienced with her a hour or so earlier.  While seizures are super scary, it actually calmed me that I was able to place a name with what transpired, now knowing how to handle the next one.

E was able to get her up when he opened the door to let Munk outside.  She wanted to go out as well.  And when they returned from outside, we broke out some cheese and she was ready to eat at that point.  We moved her bed downstairs into the kitchen and she remained on the bed for the duration of the evening.  But in the middle of the night, she had come upstairs and stole Munk's bed in our bedroom because she didn't want to stay downstairs by herself.  And on New Year's Day, she was moving around well, but slowly.  And this morning, when I let her out, I even saw her run a little again (which is her norm -- not too much running happens anymore).  In doing my own research by the googles, I found out that her difficult breathing was part of the seizure and am now wondering how many smaller seizures she has had in the past couple of months that we didn't recognize.  So I will be making an appointment with our vet to get some advice about how to deal with the seizures as I'm thinking that they are going to becoming more frequently.  But I'm glad to report that she is back to her old self.

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